Seventeen days of theatre, dance, illusion, performance and music came to a close on Saturday 8 October, when the Cape Town Fringe named the winners of the inaugural Fringe Fresh Awards.

The awards were introduced this year to reward the performers and productions that stood out in a programme filled with new and edgy work. Fringe Fresh Awards convenor Tracey Saunders worked with a panel of theatre critics and industry leaders to select works that were felt to be worthy of special recognition.

Says Saunders:“There has been a wealth of talent but it’s the creative efforts that have been fresh and exciting that have really given the Festival a distinctive characteristic. It is my hope that the Fresh Fringe Awards become as intertwined with the spirit of Cape Town as the pink duck of the Amsterdam Fringe.

“The Fabulous Fringe Roll of Honour in particular acknowledges the work that is done on the fringes, not only at the time of the Festival but throughout the year. The Fringe is a place of daring and adventure, an opportunity to take a chance and show your creative wild card. The past 17 days has done exactly that and more”

In a short address to a packed Fringe Club at the awards party last night, Fringe CEO Tony Lankester said: “There is some outstanding talent in this country, talent that needs to be recognised. Our hope with the awards is that these artists will gain widespread acknowledgment and more platforms for their work.

“We would also like to commend all the artists who participated in the Cape Town Fringe this year, there was a very high standard of professionalism and that has contributed to the success of the 2016 Fringe.”

Lankester highlighted the contribution that Fringe Guest Artistic Director Rob Murray had made to the shaping of the programme.

“Rob’s care, attention and nurturing saw many artists come to the Fringe, and flourish on its stages this year. He led the selection panel to the shaping of an amazing programme that struck the right chords with Cape Town – resulting in full houses, an adventurous spirit and many magical moments and surprises for our audiences.”

Saunders said earlier that after“much discussion and seriously considered deliberations” among the 11 members of the judging panel, the following winners emerged:

Audience Award

Determined by the audience ratings, social media buzz, hype and ticket sales.
  • International – Police Cops
  • Local – Dangled

Fresh Creative

  • Gold – Thando Doni, Director Ubuze Bam
  • Silver – Alan Parker, Choreographer Sacre for One
  • Bronze – Jason Jacobs, Director Stof Rooi

Fresh Production/Experience

  • Gold – Fabric of the Universe
  • Silver – #Ballet Must Fall
  • Bronze  You Suck and Other Inescapable Truths

Fresh performer

  • David Viviers – The Finkelsteins are Coming to Dinner

Fresh Fabulous Roll of Honour

  • Theatre in the Backyard
  • Theatre Arts Admin Collective
  • Makukhanye Arts Room
  • Ubuntu Arts Academy
  • Zabalaza

Lankester thanked the panel of volunteer judges for their commitment, saying: “We greatly appreciate the time, passion and energy being a panelist requires. We would like to acknowledge all the judges for their contribution to the Fringe Fresh Awards 2016 and we would like to thank Tracey Saunders in particular for her tireless dedication to theatre and the co-ordination of these awards.”

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